Notes: Suns’ new logos leak, Jeff Withey and Deshaun Thomas visit


PHOENIX — Kansas center Jeff Withey and Ohio State hybrid forward Deshaun Thomas highlighted an all-big workout for the Suns on Thursday. Withey’s shotblocking and Thomas’ scoring mentality could have them both pigeonholed as one-trick ponies, and each did enough to show they’re more complete players.

Either could be an option for Phoenix to take 30th overall.

They were joined by Brazilian big man Augusto Cesar Lima, athletic Minnesota forward Rodney Williams, Colorado State center Colton Iverson and Kennesaw State forward Aaron Anderson.

Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said that the center depth in this year’s draft is especially great. And if Phoenix takes a shooting guard with its fifth pick, that will greatly increase the chance that a big man could be on deck to be selected later on, as McDonough said he doesn’t like to double up on positions.

Against Iverson, who has a good 30 pounds on Withey, the skinny big man held his own to unsurprisingly display his shotblocking ability.

[RELATED: Jeff Withey's draft profile]

“You can have a skinny frame … but if you know the proper positioning, when to push, when not to push, when to take a hit, when not to,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “I think he’s learned over the years, with his body frame, he’s learned those little tricks. When he has some space to jump, he’s got great timing.

That wasn’t a big surprise. Offensively, Withey said he wanted to show he’s a consistent midrange jump shooter.

“You didn’t get to see him shoot a whole lot at Kansas. I think he’ll be a decent-to-good spotup shooting from 14 to 16 feet,” Hornacek said.

Meanwhile, Thomas’ love of scoring was on full display Thursday, but he has the ability to break the mold of being a trigger-happy shooter.

[RELATED: Deshaun Thomas draft profile]

“He can put the ball on the floor a little bit, make plays for others,” Hornacek said. “He’s always going to have that scoring mentality and that’s what he’ll look to do first. He’s good enough at that he’ll be able to make plays off of that.”

Hornacek did, however, question Thomas’ range, which was limited to 18 feet.

The most interesting character at the workout was Anderson, a Marana Mountain View High School prospect who grew up as a Suns fan. He was called up from Tucson, presumably, to add another body and hadn’t worked out for any other team. He will likely play in Europe next season.

And in general, McDonough said that while draft workouts are winding down — Phoenix has more on Friday and Saturday — he’s already comfortable with what he knows. Mostly, he’ll be looking to find out where other teams are picking so the Suns aren’t caught off guard come next week.

“I’m very comfortable with where we are,” he said. “I feel good about the depth of this draft. I could have the draft today, I’d be fine. I’m ready to go if you could have the commissioner speed it up a little bit.”

Suns dropping purple from logos?

It wasn’t a big surprise that Phoenix is dabbing out the purple in its color scheme. After all, the Halloween-like court was one sign. So too was the emergence of the old black alternate jerseys.

New logos were leaked and the NBA.com store is already posting shirts with some new-look colors. SportsLogos.net has a good number of pictures to check out.

It’s unclear when exactly the Suns would officially announce changes to the logos and colors, but it appears to be on the horizon.

On another fashion-related note, more NBA teams are expected to play with sleeved jerseys a la the Golden State Warriors. Kendall Marshall is praying the Suns are not one of the select teams to participate.

Quotable: Jeff Withey on playing with the Morris twins, who attending his workout on Thursday: “It’d be crazy if Ben (McLemore) went here too and then you’d have a whole team of Kansas guys. But you can’t have your heart set on any of those things. I wanted to show people that I can shoot the ball. That’s something I’ve been working on, that 15-foot jump shot.”

Ben McLemore’s stock drops with concerns over conditioning

Rumors have surfaced that Kansas Jayhawks shooting guard Ben McLemore may have struggled with conditioning in his workout with the Suns and another with the Orlando Magic, according to Chad Ford’s latest mock draft. The Suns have earned the reputation of having an especially difficult conditioning drill to end each workout.

Multiple sources told me that his workout in Phoenix was not impressive; he wasn’t in shape, and he struggled to keep up in the workout. I heard similar things in Orlando. McLemore is in a tug-of-war right now between adviser Rodney Blackstock and his agency Rivals. It’s kept McLemore out of the gym and for the most part, out of workouts. How much will all of this affect the draft stock? I’m told teams are worried.

Ford has the Suns selecting McLemore anyway, but he adds that a C.J. McCollum or Michael Carter-Williams pick wouldn’t surprise him either.

[RELATED: Ben McLemore draft profile]

Jeff Hornacek to coach Suns Summer League squad

Jeff Hornacek will get his coaching juices flowing by coaching the Summer League team, but it’s more a matter of him implementing his coaching style on the young Suns that will likely have large roles next season. Hornacek said that the biggest sticking point he wants to get across is selfless play.

“When you win 25 games, there’s a lot of selfish play,” Hornacek said. “Hopefully our guys will understand that as we work on it. Everybody is going to get their fair share of shots if we move the ball.”

Each team will play three games for seeding and then enter a tournament in this season’s new format. Teams will all play a minimum of five games.

Here’s a look at the Summer League schedule for Phoenix:

Saturday, July 13
5:30 p.m. PT – Phoenix vs. Portland (Game 9) at Thomas & Mack Center

Monday, July 15
3:30 p.m. PT – Minnesota vs. Phoenix (Game 22) at Thomas & Mack Center

Tuesday, July 16
5:30 p.m. PT – Phoenix vs. Memphis (Game 31) at Thomas & Mack Center

Playoffs are July 17-22

And 1

If you haven’t heard, Alvin Gentry has gone through two rounds of interviews with the Memphis Grizzlies, who are looking to replace Lionel Hollins, according to Yahoo! Sports. The thought of Gentry in Memphis seems quite appealing. He’s a motivator and can get the most out of veteran talent. It’d also be nice for him to get another shot at coaching a playoff squad following his ugly leave from Phoenix.

  • Scott

    So … the Suns’ new logos leak? Gross. They should send them back. ;)

    As for everybody moving the ball the way Hornacek wants … first, you have to have players who can move the ball without turning it over. Second, you need to have a player at some point who can score when the ball comes to them.

    In other words … I’m not sure the problem the Suns had last year was a lot of selfishness. IMO, there was a lot of low IQ and low talent. I think Gentry tried to get Beasley and Brown the ball so they could create a shot for themselves, but that’s about as far as the selfishness went.

    As for Hollins … I thought he did a good job with the Griz and I’m sorry to see him lose his spot. If the Suns didn’t already have Hornacek, Hollins would have been on my list of possible coaches for Phoenix.

    Maybe, if he doesn’t get picked up elsewhere, he can be an assistant for the Suns.

  • Ty-Sun

    I wish Gentry well in getting the Memphis job. I think he’s a very good coach when he has proven vets to work with which is what he would mostly have in Memphis.

    I love the idea that Horny is going to coach the Suns Summer League squad. That tells me that he’s willing to get his hands dirty to evaluate potential talent himself.

    Dropping purple from the Suns logo/color scheme is something I have mixed emotions about.

    McLemore’s falling stock in the draft is curious in that he seems to have brought it on by himself. He’s been reported to be out of shape and refused to work out against other players. Either he’s not serious about playing in the NBA or he’s willing to drop down in the draft in hope of being drafted by a better team. Or maybe he’s been getting bad advice from his agent. I don’t have any idea but I think there will probably be better options for the Suns at 5 if McLemore falls that far.

  • Ty-Sun

    As for the potential new Suns logos, I only have a real problem with the orange and black “S” logo. I think that almost any random kindergarten class could come up with a better logo with nothing more than a 12 color box of Crayola crayons and the promise of extra milk before nap time.

  • foreveris2long

    It would be kind of funny if McD is deliberately leaking negative reports on McL in hopes he is available at #5. However I suspect McLemore would not be appreciative of that strategy.

  • http://none @Mikel_hAz

    @Ty Sun I really hope that S logo does not come to fruition!! Really bad would be one of the ugliest n dumbest in the league!!

  • Giri

    If you can’t get people to buy merchandise because your team is doing well, change the logo to make existing fans “stay up to date”.

    Not surprising.

    I also imagine we’ll see more alternate colour jerseys this year.

  • Kevin Zimmerman

    Per the mixed reviews on the colors, I like the black in general and not really holding the purple close (I feel like the Suns kind of washed away the old purple memories with that last logo change right before the Marbury years).

    Also, it looks like the Suns are already selling shirts with the new-look S logo. Not sure how I feel. Biggest issue for me is what a new jersey might look like if they redo them.

    http://store.nba.com/product/index.jsp?productId=22356606&cp=1400498.2788219

  • Scott

    As for the S + black sun logo, I agree it is weak.

    The shirt appears to be orange, white, and gray, which is a sophisticated, understated look.

    I suspect this change in emphasis of the Suns’ logo and colors will last as long as the team is in rebuilding mode. When they return to winning they’ll get the purple back.

    “Leaking logos, Sandy!” – Little Orphan Annie

  • Scott

    There’s more than one shirt … one is purple with the S, and one is gray and orange with no S.

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    Draft McLemore & Withey and next year they will be calling us the Phoenix Jayhawks.

    Kansas has cost me enough this year….if they would have beaten Michigan, I would have won the NCAA Tourney pool & over $400 bucks.
    Instead, Burke leads a miracle comeback & Kansas loses in OT.
    Ended up 3rd which got me my $20 entry fee back.

    I thought Hollins did a great job in Memphis this year & was surprised he was let go.
    Remember Lionel from his days at ASU (before the Activity Center was even built) & his memorable battles with Eric Money & Luther “Ticky” Burden.

    Money was the pg of the original “Kiddie Korps” at UofA under Freddie “The Fox” Snowden & had the best spin move this side of Earl Monroe.

    Burden was the #1 guard in America going into his sr year in HS & was headed to UCLA….hurt his knee & ended up at Utah…..man that guy could play.

  • foreveris2long

    That Logo is soft. Perhaps we need a logo of the gorilla with a face that looks like the sun. Then place an “S” on his chest. Instead of the “s” standing for superman it would stand for Suns. Then the team would proceed to go ape on the opponent. We can dream can’t we?

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com Troy

    S logo looks weak….I thought they’d just go back to the old school jerseys like GS,Phila,Wizards/Bullets. The Suns jerseys have always had purple and now all of sudden they wanna go away from our roots and implement more orange and black…The court already looks like Halloween took a dump, smh ugh…idk hopefully they dont ruin this…

  • DBreezy
  • Scott

    In the just released report on DX – “Situational Statistics: the 2013 Power Forward Crop” – Cody Zeller is listed as one of the top PFs in this year’s draft. He’s definitely the best if you add in his defensive intensity, transition scoring, and the jump shooting he’ll be allowed to do now, as he steps away from the center spot. These qualities put him ahead of rivals Bennett and Olynyk.

    “Drawing free throws on an impressive 25.7% of his possessions, Zeller got to the line at a better rate than any high usage player in this group, by a fairly large margin. He also got out in transition for 13.9% of his possessions, the third most among players in this group, and converted at a near 80% rate on the break, also good for third. These two things helped him compensate for his below average 43% shooting in the post and only slightly above average 60.9% shooting as a finisher.

    “Zeller’s main weakness on paper besides his finishing ability inside the paint is his limited jump shooting prowess. Attempting the second fewest jumpers per-game in this group at just 0.7 per-game, he knocked down an average 37.5% of that limited number of tries.”

    IMO, he’ll shoot a lot better than that as his career goes on. IQ + scoring aggression + work ethic = shooting ability.

    When you look at the other players projected to go in the 5-9 range, I don’t have much of a problem with taking Zeller at #5.

    http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Situational-Statistics-the-2013-Power-Forward-Crop-4279/

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    If you get the CBS Sports Channel …312 or 1312 HD in Phoenix they are doing their in depth Draft Preview.
    An hr on backcourt players…hr on frontcourt player & an hr on intl. players & lottery preview in general.

    They have Gottlieb, Mateen Cleaves & Wally Sczerbiak + ex-coaches Frischilla, Pappas & Larry Frank & “insider” Jon Rothstein…..good stuff.

    I’m beginning to think the Suns will take Len at #5 if he is there.

    also, while I know it’s a risk, I still can’t get over how much pure talent Anthony Bennett has.

    CBS-Sports has Trey Burke #2 overall on their “Big Board”….I’d be ok with him at 5.

    Funny, a year ago at this time most Suns fans were hoping to “tank” to get the #1 pick which many thought would be Shabazz Muhammad…..well, one things for sure….he will be available at #5.

  • foreveris2long

    Hawk you are singing to the choir as I would love for the Suns to take Len or Burke.

  • DBreezy

    “Funny, a year ago at this time most Suns fans were hoping to “tank” to get the #1 pick which many thought would be Shabazz Muhammad…..well, one things for sure….he will be available at #5.”

    I didn’t care so much about outright tanking Hawki, but I certainly did have my eye on Bazz and Noel. Watched both, among others, all season long and so far not a lot has changed for me. While I’m one of the few Suns fans who would be just fine if they took Bazz at 5, I do like Len and in an ideal world would like them to get Len at 5 and find a way to pick up Bazz with a later lottery pick via trade.

    I’m trying to make myself fall for B-Mac as he could drop, but I haven’t gotten there yet. There’s a scene in the movie Heat where Waynegro just finishes up with a hooker and she’s gassing him on how good he was in bed. Waynegro who’s been serially killing hookers says. ‘You don’t know what this is do you? The Grim Reaper is visiting with you,’ right before snapping here neck. Every time I see an interview with B-Mac it makes me think that he’s the hooker and the league is Waynegro.

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    @ DBreezy

    Couldn’t remember that scene from Heat so looked it up….oh Waingro played by Kevin Gage….funny & spot-on analogy DBreezy
    btw…Gage was sentenced to 3 1/2 yrs in the Federal Pen for cultivating Med marijuana back in 2003….got out after 2 years.

    fwiw….Gottlieb is very high on Len & is high on Bennett also
    also, I haven’t fallen for B-Mac or Len….not yet anyways but I have high respect for Gottlieb although he can be a real jerk sometimes & Wally Sczerbiak is very high on McLemore, calling him hands down the best player in the draft.

  • DBreezy

    Wow, didn’t know that about Kevin Gage, Hawki, good stuff. Bennett seems to be the forgotten man amongst the top 5 players, but he easily could be the choice.

  • john

    Troy is right on about the old school jerseys. Nothing wrong with going classic. Go back to the original jerseys.

  • The Barnes

    changing the jerseys/logos when your team is not very good and rebuilding is a dumb idea. People like me who ahve followed teh suns for 20 years have an affiliation with the old logos and colours and at the moment you need to keep us after the past few years of misery, where as new shiny things attract new customers its unlikley to be relevent when the product isnt any good. its a bad idea and the reverse of good marketing and business management. I now feel further maligned and removed fom the suns with these awful logos.

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